Step 1. Heat oil in a vessel. Add green cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon stick.
Step 2. Then, add the onions and fry till a warm golden color.( I like to add a dash of salt while the onions are browning, helps them to release their water and the onions brown faster).
Step 3. Add the fresh coriander leaves, mint, green chillies, garlic and ginger paste and fry for a minute or two.
Step 4. Add the chicken and saute. Add the red chilly powder, turmeric and salt to taste.
Step 5. Fry this well for a couple of minutes. Then add the yogurt and continue to fry.
Step 6. Add 1/2 cup hot boiling water to it, cover and let the chicken cook on medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes. The chicken gravy should be thick. After the chicken is cooked, if you feel there is too much water, thicken the gravy by taking the lid off and let it boil away for 15 minutes.
Step 7. While the chicken is cooking, cook the rice and keep aside.
Step 8. After the chicken is cooked, the oil that floats on top, carefully with the help of a large spoon, remove it in a bowl and keep aside. You will need this while layering the biryani in the end.
Step 9. Add the lime juice to this reserved oil mixture with a pinch of sugar.
Step 10. Warm milk and add saffron to it and keep aside.
Step 11. Keep the cooked chicken and rice aside, separately. Now, all you have to do is layer the biryani and bake it.
Layering the biryani:
Pour the chicken with gravy in a large bowl which is the bottom layer.
Add white rice on top. Sprinkle the reserved oil on top.
Add the warmed milk with crushed saffron threads to it and pour on top of the rice.
Seal the bowl tightly with aluminium foil, so that no steam escapes while it is in the oven.
Heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Serve hot with raita, pickle and papads. Enjoy!